HONOLULU (February 22, 2013) -- The Senate Ways & Means Committee yesterday approved SB.668, the autism insurance reform bill, by a 10-1 vote and included amendments requested by Autism Speaks.
Written testimony in support of the bill was submitted by Autism Speaks, the Hawaii Medical Association, statewide advocacy groups and parents. The measure has already cleared the Senate's Health, and Commerce and Consumer Protection committees, and a companion bill, HB.721, is on the move in the House with a hearing scheduled before the finance committee.
Sponsored by Senators Josh Green (D-Kohala/Kona) and Russell Ruderman (D-Puna, Ka'u), the bill would include up to $50,000 a year in coverage for behavioral health treatments, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). In addition, the bill would require coverage for autism-related psychiatric, psychological, pharmaceutical and therapeutic care.
Benefits would apply though age 25.